What Is Consumer Culture

Consumer Culture

It is a type of material culture made possible by the market, which has resulted in a certain relationship between the consumer and the items or services he or she uses or consumes as a result. In the past, social science has had a tendency to treat consuming as a purely incidental by-product of manufacturing. Sociologists, on the other hand, have begun to acknowledge the importance of researching consumer culture for its own sake as a worthwhile endeavor. Consumer culture, it may be said, is one of the most important venues in which components of social change are played out in the course of everyday life.

Consumer culture, in this sense, is more than just a process by which commercial items are “used up” by customers.

The link between structure and agency in contemporary society is undoubtedly at its core, and consumer culture is arguably at the center of this interaction.

Consumption culture provides us with the tools we need to express who we are, but in doing so, it also perpetuates an economic system that, unfortunately, limits the individual’s capacity to be free or to make their own decisions.

General Overviews and Key Works

Consumer culture rose to sociological importance in the 1990s and 2000s, when experts began to see that consumption was significant in and of itself as a social phenomenon. wider themes like as the “Cultural Turn” and the greater emphasis on the cultural components of post-modernity were mirrored in this development. A number of works have attempted to highlight the importance of consumption in the context of social transformation. When it comes to the accumulation of material culture, Featherstone 1990 investigates the sociological relevance of this accumulation, while Ritzer 1993 examines the way in which rationalization occurs in the setting of consumer culture Lee 2000identifies the modern relevance of consumer culture through the use of a variety of carefully picked samples from a varied range of sources (Lee 2000).

It is particularly powerful when discussing the consumption of identity in a changing environment, and it is particularly successful when discussing the political meaning of consumption, as in Nava 1991 and Sassatelli 2007.

  • Mike Featherstone’s Perspectives on Consumer Culture was published in 1990. 5–22 in Sociology 24.1: 5–22. DOI:10.1177/0038038590024001003 Important work that underlines the sociological implications of accumulating material culture in contemporary society. To be specific, Featherstone draws attention to the emergence of postmodernity, which is effectively characterized by a situation in which individuals’ lives appear to be more controlled by structural processes while also appearing to be more liberated at the same time
  • Gabriel, Yiannis, and Tim Lang, 1995, “The unmanageable consumer: Contemporary consumption and its fragmentations” SAGE Publications, London. According to Gabriel and Lang, money is the most significant obstacle to customer choice. The fractured instability of modern society, in their opinion, is particularly noteworthy. Throughout the book, the consumer is shown in different roles, including those of chooser, identity seeker, and victim, with the premise being that the more societal institutions, such as industry or politicians, attempt to control the consumer, the more uncontrollable he or she becomes. Martyn J. Lee is the editor of this volume. The reader from the consumption society. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, Massachusetts. This book brings together a diverse variety of the most important contributions to debates on the role of consumer culture in contemporary society. From Marx to Baudrillard, it examines some of the most important theoretical contributions to such debates, as well as key contributions to the discussion of the historical character of consumer society from Vance Packard to David Harvey. Lury, Celia. “Consumer Society: A Historical Analysis.” In: Lury, Celia. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1996. Consumer culture, 2nd edition. In this volume, Lury examines the ways in which an individual’s place in social groupings defined by class, gender, race, and age influences the character of his or her engagement in consumer culture and how this participation might be improved. As Nava (1991) points out, consumer culture is actively redrawing problems of difference, struggle, and inequality to the extent that it is providing new means of forging social and political identities
  • Nava, Mica (1991), Consumerism reconsidered: Buying and power Cultural Studies, vol. 5, pp. 157–173. DOI:10.1080/09502389100490141 This work critically examines the power of consumerism to generate new kinds of economic, political, personal, and creative engagement in a variety of contexts. Argumentating that the waters had previously been muddled by opposing theoretical perspectives on consumerism, Nava believes that the consumerist agenda has elements of “utopian collectivism,” which may contain the seeds of its own revolutionary seeds. Therefore, Nava highlights the political difficulties that are indicated by the freedom to consume
  • Ritzer, George. 1993. The McDonaldization of society: An examination of the changing character of modern social life. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993. Pine Forge is located near Newbury Park, California. When it comes to consumer culture, Ritzer is interested in how rationalization is manifested through the processes of efficiency, calculability, predictabilty, and command & control (command & control). The fast food restaurant McDonald’s is, in this manner, a metaphor for a world that encourages us to consume in specific ways. Some critics, however, have attacked Ritzer’s contribution for underestimating the ability of consumers to manufacture their own meanings
  • Sassatelli, Roberta. 2007.Consumer culture: History, philosophy, and politics. New York: Routledge. SAGE Publications, London. Using one of the most thorough approaches to consumer culture available, Sassatelli provides a sophisticated interpretation of a varied variety of theoretical approaches to consumerism in one of the most comprehensive textbooks on consumer culture available. One of the accomplishments of her contribution is the ability to strike a balance between the demands of a variety of disciplines, including sociology, history, geography, and economics. Don Slater published a book in 1997 titled Consumer culture and modernity are two concepts that are intertwined. Polity Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Taking a thematic approach, Slater’s work addresses some of the fundamental areas of tension surrounding consumer society, such as the demand for choice and the identification of one’s position, alienation from one’s environment, and culture. “Consumer culture,” as defined by Slater, is distinct and particular, and it reflects the main form of cultural reproduction created in the Western world during the period of modernity, according to Slater

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Consumer Culture – Wikipedia

Malls have had a significant effect on the development of consumer culture. The Mall of America, one of the largest shopping malls in the United States, is depicted in this photograph. Consumer Culture is concerned with the expenditure of consumers’ money on material items in order to achieve a certain standard of living in a capitalist society. The United States of America is a country with a strong consumer culture, which is one of the largest in the world. Consumption reached unprecedented levels in the United States over the last hundred years, from 1900 to 2000, and for the first time in human history, there were no practical boundaries to it.

For the future, the task will be to discover methods to reintroduce the valid element of the culture of limitation while also controlling the overwhelming success of the all consuming twentieth century.

Types of culture

Malls have had a significant influence on the culture of consumerism in the United Kingdom. The Mall of America, which is one of the largest shopping malls in the United States, is depicted in this photograph. Customers’ money is spent on material products in order to achieve a lifestyle in a capitalist system, according to Consumer Culture. The United States of America is one country that has a thriving consumer culture. Consumption reached unprecedented levels in the United States over the past hundred years, from 1900 to 2000, and for the first time in human history, there were no practical boundaries to consumer spending.

The problem for the future is to discover ways to resurrect the legitimate element of the culture of limitation while also controlling the overwhelming success of the all-consuming twenty-first century.

  1. As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, an elitist is a person who thinks that an elite should control or dominate a system or society When someone acts independently, they are not concerned with what other people may think of them
  2. This is known as anindividualism. An egalitarian is someone who thinks that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities
  3. They are someone who opposes discrimination. Defining an Afatalist as someone who believes that no matter what he or she does, the conclusion will be the same since it has already been determined

Consumer culture is founded on the concept of demographics, which means that it is aimed at a big group of individuals who share similar interests, characteristics, or cultural features is being targeted.

Mass market theory

Customers’ attention is captured by advertisements like this one, which leads to increased sales.

Advertising and strategies

Over the years, marketing businesses have hired people from a variety of various age groups to assist them in better understanding the beliefs, attitudes, values, and historical actions of the targeted consumers. This results in a more effective advertisement than the conventional data collection technique that is currently in use. It is said in a comment by Shah that “the sophistication of advertising-done procedures and strategies has evolved, luring and directing consumer behavior and even creating consumerism and demands where there were none previously.” bottled water and the consumerist foundation it has in society has been written about by Richard Wilk in a recent piece.

  1. There has long been a discussion about whether or not there is a significant difference in flavor between bottled water and tap water.
  2. Water has traditionally been viewed as a pure material, and it has ties to a wide range of religious traditions.
  3. Wilk elaborates on this concept by pointing out that having bottled water reinforces the image of having control over nature as well as the need for water that people possess.
  4. This helps to reinforce the concept of natural and pure water.
  5. Water from the tap comes from an anonymous source, and Wilk concludes that because the home is an extension of oneself, why would we wish to introduce an unknown species into our home?
  6. In addition to this concept, numerous brands and corporations have begun marketing water to specific customer demands, such as special water for ladies, special water for children, special water for sports, and so on.

This is owing to the fact that larger corporations are able to establish more relationships and afford to pay the high cost of being offered on the shelves. Wilk gets to the conclusion that, because it is difficult to trust either, it boils down to which is distrusted the least.


Workers’ lives were irreversibly altered as a result of the development of consumer culture.

Wage work

As you can see in this photo, both men and women are employed in the same factory as one another. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the home was a place where men and women created, consumed, and worked together to support their families. The men were highly regarded workers, such as barbers, butchers, farmers, and lumberjacks, who contributed to the household’s revenue through their job. To conserve money, the women of these men performed a variety of jobs, including churning butter, mending clothing, and managing the garden.

There was no such thing as an equal and highly appreciated work(er) in the massive production business after the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in 1840.

As a result, the ladies’ worth at home diminished, and they were forced to seek gainful employment.

Life of a worker

The life of a laborer was one that was filled with difficulties. Working 12- to 14-hour days, six days a week in a hazardous atmosphere is not uncommon. Getting paid seldom or not at all was the most frustrating aspect of the job. It has happened that employers have paid their employees in script pay or non-U.S. money or even in-store credit at times.

See also

  • Market Theory
  • Consumer Culture Theory
  • Consumerism
  • Consumer Choice
  • Consumer Protection
  • Consumer Protection Adverts
  • Industrial Revolution


  1. Van Thompson’s “What Is Consumer Culture?” was published in 2016. StudioD’s Small Business, which was retrieved on September 27, 2016
  2. “An All-Consuming Century | Columbia University Press,” which was retrieved on September 27, 2016. Columbia University Press is a publishing house based in New York. Retrieved2018-11-13
  3. s^ Arthur Berger is a writer who lives in New York City (2004). Advertisements, fads, and consumer culture are all discussed. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, MD, pp.25–43. ISBN0-7425-2724-7 (through Hard Text)
  4. Espejo, Roman ISBN0-7425-2724-7 (via Hard Text)
  5. (2010). Consumerism. Page numbers 65–74 in Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press and Gale Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0-7377-4507-8 is available in Hard Text
  6. “Bottled Water: The Pure Commodity in the Age of Branding,” by Richard Wilk, is available online. 303–325 in Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 6, no. 3, 2006
  7. Julie’s husband, Jim O’Loughlin, and their children (2004). In the Industrial United States, 1870-1900, daily life was a way of life. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, pp.151–177. ISBN0-313-32302-X (via Hard Text)
  8. AbKeene, Jennifer
  9. Cornell, Saul
  10. O’Donnell, Edward
  11. ISBN0-313-32302-X (through Hard Text)
  12. (2015). Visions of America: A History of the United States is a book on the history of the United States. Person.ISBN978-0-13-376776-6– through Hard Text
  13. Boston: Person.ISBN978-0-13-376776-6– via Hard Text

Consumer Culture: Theory & Definition – Video & Lesson Transcript

Shawn Grimsley is the instructor. Include a biography Shawn holds a master’s degree in public administration, a Juris Doctorate, and a bachelor’s degree in political science. Consumption culture is a commercial phrase that refers to the influence of social status and societal values, as well as participation in community activities, on the total purchase and consumption of products and services in a given society. Learn about the definition of consumer culture as well as the ideas that behind it.

What is Consumer Culture?

Consumer culture may be defined as a culture in which social status, values, and activities are oriented on the acquisition and consumption of products and services. It is a subset of consumer culture. Or, to put it differently, in consumer culture, a significant portion of what you do, what you value, and how you are defined depends on the purchasing and consuming of goods. Consider the following scenario involving a normal person who lives in a consumption society. We’ll refer to her as Katie.

  • She devotes a significant chunk of her life – around one-third of her time – to her profession.
  • It provides her with the capacity to obtain the things she desires.
  • She is woken up in the morning by the sound of a radio alarm clock, on which a considerable portion of the airtime is devoted promoting goods and services rather than playing musical selections.
  • On her commute to work, she listens to her vehicle radio, which also transmits advertisements for products and services.
  • At work, banner advertisements appear on the search engine she uses, and she reads a magazine over lunch that has advertisements on around one-third of the pages.
  • She knows it’s the hottest fashion label this season, and she’s confident that her pals will be envious.
  • Once she gets home, Katie gets a bottle of her favorite brand of soda and settles down in front of the television with it and her pizza in her hands.
  • After the news, she watches her favorite television show while shopping on her favorite online consumer website, which she accesses with the newest and most stylish computer tablet she recently acquired.

The following night, she goes to sleep after watching an important sporting event sponsored by a huge firm that provides athletic equipment.


Although some theorists have characterized consumer culture as authoritarian and deceptive, other theorists contend that it is a paradigm of consumer sovereignty. In actuality, it’s more likely to be somewhere in the middle. Look at the theories of consumer culture that have been developed over time. The consumer as the ultimate authority – Economic theory as it is now practiced contends that our society is consumer-driven, in which the consumer is the ultimate determiner of her needs, wants, and desires, and is able to pick what she wants from a marketplace structured to meet those requirements and satisfy those aspirations.

According to this idea, consumer culture – defined as a society centered on the acquisition and consumption of goods and services – is empowering and contributes to the general well-being of its people.

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What is Consumer Culture

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What Is Consumer Culture?

When it comes to marketing strategy planning, consumer culture is a philosophy that takes into account the relationship customers have with certain products or services. Consumer culture is shown by Apple’s ascension to the top of the technology industry, which occurred because the company developed a product that met the demands of customers in such a way that buyers became part of a technological movement. In order to succeed as a company owner, defining your target market is critical. This process requires more than just basic demographics; consumer culture may assist in finding groups of individuals who have a common desire and a common need for a product or service.

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Apple’s Product Design

Apple is dedicated to making technology more user-friendly. This is a part of the culture that has been established, and it extends to the point where the most streamlined items with simple and accurate packaging are produced. Opened, an iPhone box reveals a well-thought-out package design that is both sturdy and aesthetically pleasing, while remaining basic in its design. The phone takes center stage, with all of the accessories neatly stashed away in their own compartments beneath the phone’s display.

Language Choices in Targeting Audiences

Advertising should be current in style and language, and it should be done in a modern manner. However, the language used now to communicate with Baby Boomers differs from the language used today to communicate with Millennials. A brand that sells shoes to teens will employ terminology that is more culturally associated with skaters – skateboards – rather than figure skaters in order to attract customers. Understanding the cultural norms of your target market will allow you to select language that is appropriate for that demographic’s preferences.

Group Inclusion and Club Creation

Humans are social creatures that like to be a part of a group. Consumers frequently form affiliations with other consumers depending on the brands that they purchase. Mini Cooper owners, for example, go on weekend caravan excursions; simply owning a Mini entitles you to membership in the club instantly. Nike enjoys a devoted following among sports enthusiasts and shoe fanatics. Smart brand strategies strive to create a sense of belonging for the people who use their products. This might be accomplished by a small company owner holding modest parties for his most valuable customers.

Social and Political Awareness

Social and political concerns can influence consumer culture in a positive or negative way. Many ads for the 2018 Super Bowl took a socially conscious stance, linking themselves with broader issues such as environmental protection, natural disaster relief, and individuals deciding to do the right thing by other people. Because the aim a few years ago was to create the most outrageously humorous commercial, this year’s Super Bowl advertisement was a departure from tradition. Following a succession of national catastrophes, including storms, mass shootings, and escalating political tensions, the country made the decision to change course.

These corporations had a finger on the pulse of what was going on in the consumer culture outside the things that they were selling. This is a method of eliciting good thoughts from the general population without ever mentioning a specific product or service.

Consumer Cultures – Media Studies 101

Fourth Section: Target Audiences Identitymediatexthack A hypothesis that modern human civilization is heavily influenced by consumerism and emphasizes the significance of acquiring commodities and services (and with them, power) as a cultural practice that develops social behaviors is known as consumer cultures. Consumer cultures are defined as follows: The history of consumer cultures may be traced back to certain eras of discontinuity and related to those periods of discontinuity. When it comes to the history of consumerism in the previous three centuries, world historiography prefers to distinguish three distinct periods:

  • First, there was the popularization of certain products such as exotic drinks and clothing in the 18th century in England
  • Then there was the appearance of the first department stores, which marked the beginning of modern shopping practices
  • And finally there was the establishment of a mass society, the development of an Atlantic market, and the beginning of the process of Americanization of culture in the 1950s.

While not rejecting the precision of traditional periodization, an increasing number of scholars’ interest in the history and practice of consumption over the last few decades has brought to light new interpretations of consumer cultures, while not rejecting the precision of traditional periodization. These new ideas take into account the phenomena in the context of continuity across a longer period of time than previously considered. According to these perspectives, the emergence of consumer cultures in Europe can be traced back to the period between the 17th and 18th centuries, when a profound shift in the economic system occurred as a result of European colonial expansion.

There were many different approaches taken by the customers to the market, all of which were highly impacted by their geographical origin, gender, social status, religious views, and cultural propensity.

We can therefore think of consumption as contributing to the process of identity formation in part.For example, here is a very detailed account of how the consumptionof coffee, which was introduced as a new commodity into Europe and other parts of the world, has contributed to the creation of a certain intellectual and social culture centered on the space of coffee houses.The interest in consumer cultures focuses on the aspect of production of everyday life as a source of cultural meaning and significance.

The study of consumer cultures, on the other hand, entails the examination of a macro-sphere in which consumer behaviors are inextricably linked to the economic and commercial components of manufacturing production.

As a result, Europe gained a dominant position on the global market.

In the aftermath of World War II, the Americanization of culture elevated the United States to a hegemonic economic and cultural position that influenced European political systems.

Despite this, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the formation of consumer cultures is inextricably linked to a system of power that periodically redraws the map of international relations.


  1. What large brands or corporations come to mind that you think reflect contemporary consumer culture? Which one do you regard to be the most powerful
  2. Where did they originate
  3. And what is their genesis story.

consumer culture

In addition, see advertising cultures and taste. The marketing and consumption of products and services have come to dominate modern Western society, and this is a derogatory allusion to modern Western civilization (see alsopromotional culture). Anti-consumerists view the industry’s materialism as the reduction of personal fulfillment to purchase, condemn its superficiality, and consider it as a tool of cultural manipulation, among other things. aestheticization; commodification; commodity fetishism; conspicuous consumerism; Frankfurt School; manipulative model; popular culture; neoliberalism The term “post-Fordist society” refers to a society in which consumption habits serve as a primary basis for social distinction, personal identities, and enjoyment.

In the development of social identity, this is a reference to the environment in which the active, smart consumer subversively reduces commodities and marketing to their own ends.

Neo-liberals also support competitive pricing and “consumer sovereignty,” believing that customers are pushing for higher-quality products, and that green consumerism is resulting in items that are more ethically sourced and environmentally sustainable, among other things.

Populism in the cultural sphere.

What Makes for a Consumerist Culture?

If, according to sociologists, culture is comprised of the popularly known symbols, language, values, beliefs, and social conventions of a society, then a consumerist culture is one in which all of those things are formed by consumerism; a feature of a consumer society. According to sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, a consumerist society places a premium on transience and mobility over durability and stability, as well as the novelty of objects and the opportunity to reinvent oneself over the ability to endure.

Bauman’s Consumerist Culture

When it comes to consuming life, In his explanation, Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman states that, in contrast to the preceding productivist culture, a consumerist society promotes transience over length, newness and reinvention, along with the capacity to purchase items instantaneously. People’s lives were defined by what they produced in a society of producers; however, because the production of things took time and effort, and people were more likely to delay satisfaction until a later time, consumerist culture is a “nowist” culture that places a high value on instantaneous or quickly acquired satisfaction.

  • In a consumerist culture, for example, the need to stay up to date with fashion, haircuts, and mobile technology are all urgent concerns.
  • Consumptionist culture, according to Bauman, is “first and foremost about being on the go.” The values, practices, and language of a consumerist society are distinct from those of a traditional culture.
  • Furthermore, according to Bauman, these developments herald the disappearance of the generic “Other” “as an object of ethical duty and moral concern.” “A continual drive to be someone else characterizes the consumerist society, which places an exaggerated emphasis on one’s own identity.
  • Consumer markets, according to Bauman, develop discontent with the things that consumers use to meet their wants – and they also nurture a perpetual dissatisfaction with the acquired identity and the set of demands that characterize that identity.
  • Furthermore, due to the pressing need to be on-trend, if not ahead of the curve, we are continuously on the search for new methods to reinvent ourselves through consumer purchases.
  • Another aspect of consumerist society is what Bauman refers to as “the disabling of the past,” which is connected to the continual hunt for the new in both commodities and ourselves.
  • For those who grow up in this society, time is conceived of and experienced as fragmented, or “pointillist” – events and periods of life are readily forgotten in favor of something else.
  • “Cloakroom groups,” which “one thinks one joins just by being present in a place where others are present, or by donning badges or other signs of shared aims, style, or taste,” are prevalent in a consumerist culture.
  • As a result, consumerist society is characterized by “weak bonds” rather than strong ties between individuals.

It is important to sociologists because we are interested in the consequences of the values, norms, and behaviors that we take for granted as a society; some of these are beneficial, but a large number of them are detrimental.

Consumer Culture and Society

The Foreword and Acknowledgements are followed by an introduction to each chapter. Historical Context and Theoretical Tensions are discussed in detail. Tensions and contradictions in the Concept of Consumption: Positioning the Concept of Consumption INTRODUCTION: THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK Part II of Chapter 2: Consumption Objects: Commodities and the Mass Consumer Society Commodity production is the process of creating commodities. Commodities Have a Special Meaning Is Everything Becoming More and More Commoditized?

  • 3: Consumption Subjects—Are they passive clones or active agents, or both?
  • Part IV of the book is titled “Consumption in Places and Spaces.” The city, arcades, and department stores are all included.
  • Is Wal-Mart putting an end to the category killers?
  • Food and the Environments in Which It Is Consumed Tourism is covered in Chapter 6.
  • Tourism and the Places of Consumption are two aspects of the tourism industry.
  • Higher education as a commodity to be purchased and consumed College and university education, as well as the subjects of consumption PART III.
  • ETHICAL CONCERNS AND CONSUMER ACTIVITY History of Political Consumerism in a Nutshell Political Consumerism: A New Era Chapter 9.
  • Alternative Forms of Consumption Frugality, Sacrifice, Austerity, and Postmaterialism The Voluntary Simplicity Movement Collaborative Consumption and the Sharing Economy Co-Creation, Presumers, and Prosumption: Free Consumer Labor Reduce, Reuse, and Dematerialism Chapter 11.
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The Rise of American Consumerism


The Rise of American Consumerism

Automobiles, televisions, and other contemporary appliances were among the purchases made by Americans. The Library of Congress is a federal government institution that collects and organizes information. At the conclusion of World War II, returning American servicemen found themselves in a nation that had changed dramatically from the one they had left four years earlier. Because of World War II output, the American economy was able to emerge from the Great Depression, and from the late 1940s on, young people enjoyed a significant increase in their purchasing power.

  1. This occurred at the same time that an unprecedented number of young couples were marrying and having children.
  2. Bill of Rights, which were typically located in quickly developing suburbs.
  3. In fact, throughout the 1950s, the American consumer was hailed as a patriotic citizen for his or her role in contributing to the eventual triumph of the American way of life.
  4. Aside from televisions and automobiles, the commodities that people wished for the most towards the conclusion of the war included washing machines, refrigerators, toasters, and vacuum cleaners: the appliances that would allow them to update their lives.
  5. Elaine Tyler May, a historian, said, “The principles connected with domestic expenditure reinforced traditional American concerns with practicality and morality, rather than grandeur and luxury, as opposed to international spending.
  6. Automobiles were in more demand than ever before as a result of the tremendous rise in suburban populations, and they were within reach of many first-time buyers.
  7. With tales involving ethnic families, certain television series, such as The Goldbergs and The Honeymooners, targeted to working- and middle-class audiences in the United States.
  8. “The Good Life” is a term used to describe a way of life that is enjoyable and fulfilling.
  9. Working-class individuals might accomplish the upward mobility they desired if they were able to afford the items that marked “the good life.” Selling in order to buy is a common practice.
  10. After all, Tupperware was created to assist housewives in maintaining the freshness and sanitation of food throughout storage and preparation of meals.

The following is what Jean Conlogue said when asked how she attracted new dealers to her Tupperware distributorship: “We attempted to meet a need for something that they desired, like new carpet or a new refrigerator, and then we would lay out for them how many parties they would have to throw.” Promotions and rewards provided by the corporation helped to further increase consumption.

Sales representatives from Tupperware were rewarded with luxury equipment ranging from washing machines to double boilers in recognition of their achievements.

Social Change Through and Beyond Sport

Consumer Culture is the sickness, while Climate Change is a symptom of it” (Atkin, 2019). Consumer culture has had extremely negative effects on the environment throughout the course of the last century. Consumer culture, which is defined as the consumption of, purchasing of, or selling of things motivated by social conventions, is responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (Atkin, 2019). Because the sports business has begun to place a greater emphasis on consumption than on the activities themselves, one area where we may see consumer culture exaggerated is in sport.

The subject of global climate change has been at the forefront of our society for many years, as we all know, but we must act quickly to avoid irreparable consequences.

What is Consumer Culture, and how does it differ from other cultures?

In a capitalist society, consumer culture refers to the spending of consumers’ money on material items in order to maintain a comfortable living.

During the twentieth century, the consumption of products has increased exponentially, as items that were formerly considered luxuries are now considered needs.

We live in a world in which the message is that you are defined by your possessions, and the more possessions you have, the happier you are.

Having a greater social position as a result of spending more money (Firat et al., 2013).

The greater the number of consumers, the greater the amount of money that these businesses may generate (Firat et al., 2013).

Because purchasing all of these things is so straightforward, we tend to take them for granted and fail to consider the ramifications of our decisions (Firat et al., 2013).

We aspire to obtain a high level of societal standing and will go to any lengths to get it.

When firms design items with a purposefully short life duration, consumers are forced to repurchase them more frequently.

The principle that underpins this is known as plannedobsolescence, and it helps to explain why items are designed to be disposable rather than long-lasting (The New Anticapitalist Film Gallery, 2017).

In the 1920s, lightbulbs had a lifespan of over 2,500 hours, but today’s bulbs have a lifespan of barely 1,000 hours.

Companies purposefully design items that are short-lived in order to generate a bigger profit margin.

On our globe, there is a steady stream of hazardous garbage that is piling up since there is nowhere else for it to go (The New Anticapitalist Film Gallery, 2017).

Our culture has also experienced a rise in the popularity of fast fashion, which contributes to the overproduction of goods.

Clothes manufacturing has increased by a factor of two since 2000, as clothing firms have gone from producing only two lines of apparel per year to releasing an average of six lines per year.

Fast fashion is the world’s second-largest polluter, trailing only the oil sector in terms of emissions.

This water finally makes its way to the ocean, where it will be carried across the world by the currents.

In terms of marketing platforms, the Olympics stand out as one of the most effective available anywhere in the globe (Smart, 2018).

The rise in marketing and worldwide consumerism that is a result of the Olympics only serves to boost consumption, which in turn raises the likelihood of environmental hazards.

Another example of consumer culture in the athletic world is the number of times a professional sports team’s logo has been changed over time.

For each time this is done, they create whole new jerseys for the club and its supporters.

We are continually purchasing and manufacturing, yet we are completely unaware of the potential effects of our actions on the environment.

Adidas collaborated with Parley for the Oceans to design ecologically friendly hockey jerseys for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game (Palmeieri, 2019).

I am a victim of the misconception that simply purchasing environmentally friendly clothing qualifies us as environmentally conscious.

Just because something is created with fewer chemicals does not always imply that its creation is better for the environment as a whole.

No longer is it necessary for them to create a new set every year that will only be worn for an hour.

What is the impact of consumer culture on the environment?

According to William Rees of the University of British Columbia, humans consume 30% more material than is viable from the world’s natural resources (Scientific American, 2011).

Figure 3.

Proimos is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic license).

This increase in trash corresponds to the precise time period when we first witnessed the emergence of consumer society.

If we continue on our current path, we will not be able to accomplish the reductions necessary to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5° Celsius.

In order to do this, we must see a shift in our culture, and that shift must occur quickly.

(Atkin, 2019).

Creating awareness and the willingness to change are both necessary for something to happen to take place.

There are several attempts for change in response to this rising problem.

This movement is attempting to lessen the prevalence of a throw-away culture in society.

In addition, daily things such as phones, fabrics, electronics, and batteries will be governed by the new regulations (Harrabin, 2020).

Another effort that has been observed is an increase in the number of customers participating in No Buy Day, which is conducted every year on the Saturday after Black Friday (Macleod, 2019).

I was completely unaware of this endeavor until I began writing this chapter.

Conclusion Figure 4: Graffiti depicting how Ethical Consumerism is still alive and well.

While researching and drafting my paper, I began to wonder why I had never heard of this subject before in the news.

In order to avoid losing any money, these corporations do not want you to buy less garments or items than usual.

It is essential to recognize that unlimited development is incompatible with the existence of a finite planet.

By examining this issue through the lens of sport and the overproduction of hockey jerseys, we can better understand it.

We must take this issue seriously since climate change is only growing worse, and if we do not begin to modify our view on the way we live, then things will only become worse from here on out.

Atkin, et al (2019).

Consumer culture is the source of the problem.


Our obsession with quick fashion is destroying the environment.


The Body in the Context of Consumer Culture Theories, Cultures, and Societies, 1 (2), 18–33.

Y., and Arikan, M.


Tuncel have published a paper in which they discuss their research (2013).

The Journal of Community Positive Practices, Volume 13, Number 1, pages 182–203.

Harrabin is the author of this article (2020).


Made-in-Canada Buy Nothing Day is a protest against the excesses of Black Friday shoppers.


The NHL and Adidas will collaborate to design environmentally friendly jerseys for the All-Star Game.

Scientific American is a magazine dedicated to science and technology (2011).

Does Shopping Until We Drop Make Us Richer?


Smart, B.

Smart, B.

Consuming Olympism: Consumer culture, sport star sponsorship, and the commercialization of the Olympics are all discussed in this chapter.

The New Anticapitalist Film Gallery is located in the heart of New York City’s SoHo neighborhood (2017).

On YouTube, you may see “The Lightbulb Conspiracy: Planned Obsolescence.” G. Vince is credited with inventing the term “virtual reality” (2012). The High Cost of Our “Throw-Away” Society. 2012, according to BBC Future.

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